City of Murrieta honors their dispatchers for National Public Safety Telecommunications Week
MURRIETA – In honor of National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, Murrieta Police officials spent the entire week dedicating tributes to their dispatchers with photographs and posts on social media about the hardworking and dedicated members of the team.
Dispatchers are the voice in the darkness and sometimes act as a literal lifeline; not only to the citizens they serve, but to the officers they spend countless hours talking with on the radio.
Dispatchers provide the calm and reassuring voice when taking phone calls from citizens, some of whom are experiencing the worst moments of their lives. They are then the voice that sends emergency first responders into – and sometimes guide them through – incidents that might terrify the average citizen.
One of the main things officials wanted their dispatchers to know this week was, “We appreciate everything you do.”
The City of Murrieta Dispatch Center is staffed twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and receives all emergency and non-emergency calls for the City. Based on the calls they receive, they then dispatch Murrieta police, fire, paramedics and ambulance services as needed.
Citizens can “call the dispatch center to report emergencies, in-progress calls for service, criminal activity or to file a police report,” according to officials.
“Each one (of our dispatchers) brings a unique personality and dispatching skills to help citizens with calls for service and a person on the other end of the phone who wishes to provide them with quality service,” according to police officials. “Their goal is to be a positive first point of contact with and for the Murrieta Police and Fire Departments.”
City of Murrieta Dispatchers make for an award-winning team
In keeping with celebrating National Public Safety Telecommunication Week, City of Murrieta and Murrieta Police officials recently extended their congratulations to four members of their dispatch team, during an annual awards ceremony.
These women received awards this week at the 28th Annual Telecommunications Awards presented by The California Public-Safety Radio Association.
“In addition to having to multitask with ringing phone lines and police and fire radios, these women must keep their composure during the most difficult situations,” officials recently explained. “We are fortunate to have an awesome group of women in our center.”
At the recent awards ceremony, three Murrieta dispatchers received Runner-Up in the category for Performance by a Team. The award was for the dispatcher’s teamwork during a savage dog attack of an infant.
Although Murrieta Police dispatchers are trained in all positions, that particular day Aurie McGinnis – who was the 911 call taker, Connie Dyer – who was working as police dispatcher and Shannon Johnson – assigned as a Fire/AMR dispatcher, all worked together to handle the difficult and traumatizing call.
Dispatcher Valerio received an award for Outstanding Performance by an Individual Dispatcher, runner-up. Valerio was commended for the professional and sensitive manner in which she handled a difficult call where a young life was lost due to suicide.
Because emergency communications centers handle a variety of types of emergency 911 calls for service as well as wireless calls, non-emergency, and allied agency calls, dispatchers must be ready for any and all types of emergencies and critical incidents, as well as routine calls for assistance or information.
The daily calls for service can range from citizens reporting in-progress crimes and emergencies such as a robbery, assault with a deadly weapon or a missing child; to routine, non-emergency calls, such as trespassing, petty thefts or loud music and disturbance calls.
Communication dispatchers are also responsible for not only determining the type of call they are dealing with but dispatching patrol units or other required emergency first responders to calls for service that would be needed to handle the incident being reported.
At the 28th Annual Telecommunications Awards
presented by The California Public-Safety Radio Association
Meet your Murrieta Dispatchers
Sometimes the first calm and friendly voice you hear during a crisis
Mattie has been a dispatcher for Murrieta for 15 years. She said her favorite part of working as a dispatcher is being able to be active in the community and “working with the best dispatchers.” She also helps teach the department’s citizen’s academy.
Julie has been a police dispatcher for 14 years. Her favorite part of being a dispatcher “is helping everyone, including the other dispatchers, officers and citizens,” when they need her.
Shannon has been a dispatcher for Murrieta PD for 13 years. She loves helping people in need and having Murrieta PD as what she calls her “second family.”
Allison, who has been a Murrieta Police dispatcher for 17 years, said she loves “the convenient hours and days off!”
Becky has been a police dispatcher with Murrieta PD for nine years. She said she loves the people she works with and she has a strong sense of pride for her chosen profession.
According to Murrieta Police officials, the “A Side” night shift has a total of 75 years combined dispatching experience. The shift’s dispatchers include Sarah, Lori, Michelle and Brenda.
Sarah has been a public safety dispatcher for 15 years. Prior to joining the Murrieta PD family in 2004, she worked for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. The one thing she likes most about working as a dispatcher is that “each work day is completely different from the last,” she said. “It makes work fun and exciting.”
Lori has been a dispatcher for 22 years. Lori came to Murrieta PD in 2006 as a lateral hire from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. Lori enjoys the variety of calls that come in to the dispatch center, which she said, “keeps things interesting.” She also said she likes the people she works with and that there is “never a dull moment” while on duty. Lori said the most challenging aspect of her job as a police dispatcher is not always knowing the outcome for a family when law enforcement needs to intervene.
Michelle has been a public safety dispatcher for 22 years. She started as a dispatcher for the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department before joining the Murrieta dispatch team in 2004. She said she enjoys the flexibility the job being a police and fire dispatcher has to offer and “a career that does not include traditional work hours.”
Brenda has been a dispatcher for 16 years and is a Lead Dispatcher. Before joining Murrieta PD’s proud dispatch team in 2005 she worked for the Newport Beach Police Department. “The best part of (my) job is coming to work and knowing no two days will be alike, according to Brenda. She also loves, “helping the community,” and enjoying “fun moments spent with (my) co-workers, both on and off duty.”
Aurie has been a dispatcher for Murrieta PD for more than 14 years. Aurie “loves her job,” and said her favorite thing about dispatching are “the women she gets to work with.” Aurie recently said working as a dispatcher, “is not a mundane job and every day is new adventure.”
Connie, who was recently hired by the city, is a lateral hire from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. Her favorite aspect of the job is the camaraderie she has with her co-workers and “the family atmosphere our agency provides.” She said she loves knowing she is the “calming voice for those who call in need.”
Heather is the newest addition to the Murrieta team and is a lateral hire from Oceanside PD. She said her “favorite aspect of dispatching here at Murrieta PD is (my) new co-workers.” She says she “is really happy to be here,” and she “loves helping people and being a part of the law enforcement family.”
Linda has been dispatching for the City of Murrieta for 14 years. She recently said her favorite aspect of her career is, “working with amazing women who value this agency and it’s citizens.” She continued, “It’s not just a “job” but a noble profession where we make a difference every day.”
Dawn has been a City of Murrieta dispatcher for eight years. “She is our fire dispatcher extraordinaire” according to officials. “She has a love for her career, especially the fire dispatching side of it. She is such an asset to this department.” Dawn said her favorite part of her job is her “work family.”
Kelly, a Lead Dispatcher, has been with Murrieta PD for 23 years. Prior to joining the City of Murrieta Police Department’s dispatch team, she worked for the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department for four years. She proudly serves as a member of the department’s Crisis Negotiation Team and Peer Support Team.
Tina has been a dispatcher for nine years. She has spent the last six years working for the City of Murrieta. She has lived in Murrieta since 1989 and that intimate knowledge of the city and it’s businesses helps her perform her duties to the highest standards.
Melissa worked for Murrieta Police Department for 12 years and has been dispatching for a total of 13 years.
“911 Call Takers – The stress is real.They are the first people you make contact with on your worst day. They never know what is going to be happening on the other side of the phone.
A prank call, a tragic crash, sudden collapse of a loved one, a baby choking, someone trying to get into your house. They hear your cries, your screams and at times, your last breath.
When the officers arrive, the phone is disconnected. The call is over. Or is it? The phones continue to ring, and the call takers continue to answer sometimes even before they can take a minute to process what has just happened.
Your voices don’t go away.
They can linger for months and years.
Our 911 call takers and dispatchers are the unseen heroes and often forgotten.
Today, we want you to know that you are appreciated!”
We here at Riverside County News Source salute the hard work of not only Murrieta Police dispatchers, but dispatchers of all our local law enforcement agencies. Know your hard work is recognized and you are all truly appreciated.
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